Library of Congress CCN 67-10417
If some other species with a different logic and mathematics
tried hard to teach us, probably we couldn't recognize and learn the
alien ways of thought and computation. We tend to ignore the possibilities
of thought outside the traditional prescriptions for thinking.
My sorrow for the young human is great; why cannot his
genius flower as it will7 We straitjacket the young and penalize the
thinking they do outside our beaten and beatup paths inherited from
the past. Personally, I have finally learned to value the freeing up
of the spirit, now. In this freeing, I am penalized by my own straitjacket.
Tradition and personal history are terrible taskmasters with entirely
too much power over one's spirit, now. Means of loosening the slaves'
chains are sought. One hopes that eventually one can see the new vistas
through the prison window.
One view through the window of the prison is that which
we can see in special states of consciousness. However, this too may
be a romantic trap for humankind. The powerful human imagination, attempting
to break free from the real bonds of the human body and brain, can imagine
an infimty of unreal worlds and unreal states of being of no use whatsoever
to us. The only use may be as vacations and entertainments. Fantasies
of mental communication with other beings greater than ourselves are
currently considered as science fiction and hence only entertainment.
This peculiar concept of "entertaining" ideas frees us up from being "serious" about these ideas. Thus we can look at them savor them, even experience possible realities postulated by them and come away unscathed, uninfluenced, as it were, titillated and uncommitted after they are over. As mature adults, we have gone beyond the necessity of inner sensation for sensation's sake which we valued so highly when we were young. We insist that sensation be integrated into our life plan as an integral and unassuming part of that plan. There are those scientists and ex-scientists who would lead us into "new paths of enlightenment." Somehow they forget that this has been tried by religious leaders in the past. Somehow they forget that, at least in Western civilization, these "new paths of enlightenment" have already been cast aside as will-o'-the-wisps, illusions and delusions. Some of us need such comforting illusions and such tranquilizing delusions. The harsh facts of existence can somehow be softened by romanticizing.